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1:47PM

History of a Spoonbill

On 7th March a Spoonbill dropped into the Wader Pool at Rye Harbour and departed before I could get my camera on it, but a visiting photographer, Mike Felstead, took this photo showing its colour rings. They looked familiar from a Facebook posting by Lee Evans I had read on 6th March:

"An interesting life history of a EURASIAN SPOONBILL. Ringed in the nest in The Netherlands on 12 May 2014, it has since spent most of its time in the UK. It arrived at Dungeness as a juvenile on 8 September 2014, moving next day to the Oare Marshes at Faversham before taking up temporary residency at Old Hall Marshes (Essex) from 17-20 September. It then moved north to Suffolk, visiting Benacre Broad on 22 September, before moving to Havergate Island shortly later, where it overwintered, making occasional visits to Minsmere RSPB (eg, 11-12 February, 21 March & 2 April 2015). By May 2015, it was back in Holland and at Texel, but progressing well into its first summer, it returned to Suffolk for the summer, moving between Hollesley Marshes, Orfordness, Trimley Marshes and Aldeburgh throughout. It visited Titchwell Freshwater Lagoon (North Norfolk) on 4 September before deciding to spend its second winter in Suffolk, residing predominantly in the Aldeburgh area from November to March 2016. On 15 April, it made a long movement to Alkborough Flats in North Lincolnshire and spent much of its second summer wandering back and forth wetland sites in East Anglia before making an early autumn residency at Hazelwood Marshes RSPB (again Aldeburgh) throughout August-September. Once again, it spent the winter in Suffolk before moving, in 3rd-summer plumage and therefore potential breeding condition to the relatively infant nesting colony at Bones Drift, Holkham Pines NNR in North Norfolk on 8 March 2017. It remained with the colony until 20 May 2017 but sadly failed to find a partner and then disappeared. On 23 November 2017, it was sighted in Poole Harbour (Dorset) in Lytchett Bay, briefly joining the core wintering flock on Brownsea Island a couple of days later. It stayed with these for about a month before moving west to RSPB Lodmoor in Weymouth Bay on 14 January 2018, where it has remained intermittently ever since."

Another observer, Andrew Bloomfield, added extra information...

"Holkham info - its a male and it fathered at least one youngster in the 2017 nesting season I saw it regularly at the colony from April through to June 10th, it then moved to Burnham Deepdale."

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